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April 25, 2014

PSU Baseball splits LEC twin bill with UMass Boston

Panthers claim nightcap behind Gilchrist and Arsenault

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University and the University of Massachusetts Boston split a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Friday afternoon at Panther Park, the visiting Beacons taking the opener, 7-4, and the host Panthers capturing the nightcap, 6-4.

            Freshman Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) pitched three-and-two-third innings of no-hit relief in the nightcap for PSU, snuffing out any thoughts of a UMB comeback. Junior Chris Adams (Whitman, Mass.) led the Beacons to the win in the opener with five runs batted in on a grand slam and an RBI double.

            The outcome leaves both teams tied for fourth place in the LEC with 5-7 conference records; PSU is now 19-14 overall and UMB is 14-18.

            The Beacons took a 4-0 lead in the third inning of the opener. Senior Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.) led off with a single and freshman Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) was hit by a pitch; an infield error loaded the bases, and Adams drilled his first home run of the season over the right-center field fence for a grand slam.

            UMB junior starter Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, when PSU senior Rob Madonna (Cranston, R.I.) cracked a one-out double to right center and senior Brandon Cox (Nashua, N.H.) clubbed his second home run of the season over the left field fence, cutting the margin to 4-2.

            Adams hammered an RBI double in the seventh inning to push the UMB lead to 5-2.  PSU pulled to within a run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run single by Cox, giving him four RBI in the game, but the Beacons got them back with two in the top of the eighth as Mantoni singled home a run and Szatrowski added a sacrifice fly.

            Szatrowski earned the win (3-1) for UMB with a complete-game effort, allowing four runs on five hits (no walks) while striking out five.

            PSU pulled ahead 6-0 in the second game with single runs in the first two innings and a four-run rally in the third. Sophomore Dave Hall (Groton, Conn./Fitch) doubled home a run in the first frame, and junior Paul Reny (South Portland, Maine) and senior Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood) combined for a double-steal in the second, Reny scoring from third on the play. Junior Dan Armstrong (Danville, N.H./Timberlane) started the third-inning rally with a sacrifice fly, and Reny, Runnals and sophomore Patrick Cannon (Concord, N.H.) followed with consecutive RBI singles.

            Panther junior starter Cody Gilchrist (Tyngsboro, Mass./Bishop Guertin) cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits, before UMB touched him for three runs in the fifth inning.  Moquete laced a two-run triple to left center field, and then came home on a sacrifice fly to left by Mantoni. The triple was Moquete's ninth three-bagger, setting the Beacon program record for career triples.

            Freshman Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) tripled to nearly the same spot in left center in the sixth inning, and came home on a base hit by junior Bryan Failla (Torrington, Conn.) to cut the margin to 6-4. That ended the day for Gilchrist, but Arsenault shut down the Beacons the rest of the way. Gilchrist earned the win to improve to 4-2, and Arsenault posted his second save.

            PSU is slated to return to action Sunday, hosting Colby College at 1:00 p.m. in a non-conference doubleheader. UMB plays again on Monday at Endicott College (3:30 p.m.) 

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